Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
Okay so there weren't exactly a hundred million, but Chris Williams did pass the 1 million reports submitted mark on 10th March 2009. Andreas König also passed the 500,000 reports submitted mark. Together with Slaven Rezić, David Golden and Dave Cantrell, these 5 CPAN testers now account for 2/3rds of all the reports now submitted to the CPAN Testers database. It was fantastic to have 4 of the 5 guys all meet up in Birmingham recently. I did mean to get a group photo during the hackathon, but sadly forgot
As mentioned above, we had a few stars meet up in Birmingham at the end of March for the 2009 QA Hackathon, all of whom made the event extremely worthwhile. The event featured 3 days of brainstorming, coding and testing. It did also feature some eating, drinking and a little bit of sleeping along the way too. The full results and thoughts of the hackathon will no doubt appear on blogs and in write-ups in the coming weeks, but I for one am really please to have been a part of it. CPAN Testers was just one of the featured projects, which saw several ideas come together. CT2.0 is firmly within our sights and we'll be looking to unleash it to testers very soon.
With the hackathon over, and the fact that we've now had two very successful QA Hackathons, it would be nice to continue the event next year. There is a possibility that another European location might be able to host the event next year, but there is no reason why there can't be a US one too. I'm sure there are several US developers that would love to take part, but just can't afford the airfare to Europe. As there isn't a formal committee to decide a location, it's pretty much up to a local group to decide they would like to host the event. Perhaps you work for a company willing to provide a venue and wifi, or have funding to find somewhere equally suitable. Either way attendees from past hackathons would be delighted to hear from you. If you do want to host a QA Hackathon, please get in touch with JJ, as he holds the DNS for the qa-hackathon.org domain, and would be only too pleased to point '2010.qa-hackathon.org' in the direction of your web server.
During the hackathon the Metabase, that David Golden and Ricardo Signes originally devised in Oslo, got a wider audience, which meant it also got some meat and flesh on its bones, as well as giving everyone the chance to pick holes in some of the design decisions. Thankfully David and Ricardo did a very good job in the first place, so it was mostly ensuring that the edge cases were covered, and that we had an agreed method to migrate existing testers and the testing infrastructure. Looking at David and Ricardo's work so far, I think we have something very exciting to look forward to. There was a lot of CPAN Testers related effort over the weekend, with Chris and Jos working together on CPANPLUS related tasks, pulling in David Golden to review how to abstract the reporting code into a common distribution for CPANPLUS and CPAN.pm. Tux and Andreas looked at the structured reports, specifically looking for better ways to parse the environment to provide much more detailed reporting, even more than we have previously managed with CPAN Testers. Rich Dawe, working from David and Ricardo's design, wrote the transporter that will now takes the structured data and feeds it into the Metabase. The Metabase itself got a name change, as during the discussions, Ricardo realised that it could eaily be used for much more than just CPAN. It still needs work, but I think it's been a very productive few days, and I looking forward to getting the Metabase finally online. If only for the fact that we will finally be able to switch off the SMTP and NNTP parts of the current system.
A couple of updates I made behind the scenes during the hackathon, included the switch to using PAUSE for the direct mirror and adding in more reporting capabilities to the Authors Notification system, that currently produces the Daily Summary Reports. With the former, Andreas' script now updates the local CPAN Testers CPAN mirror every 60 seconds, which means the database on the backend of the CPAN Testers infrastructure is now very up to date. Unfortunately due to the time taken to update all the web files, you don't get to see the benefits as quickly as I'd like, but it's on my TODO list to improve the processing. For the author reporting, shortly you should be able choose weekly and monthly summary reports, as well as the ability to switch on individual reports again. The individual reports were switched off by the testing tools, due to the number of authors that were unhappy receiving them. However, there are still several authors that would like them. If all goes well with the final round of testing, expect an announcement next week.
We topped 143 testers submitting reports last month, so thank you once again to everyone involved. The mappings this month included 18 total addresses mapped, of which 10 were for newly identified testers.